Most of us believe that marriages are made in heaven. And our elders tell us that most of their marriages were successful because the alliances were arranged.
If that's true - what happens to love, romance, wooing and courtship, all of which culminate in marriage? Can romance be found in an arranged marriage?
Most who have experienced arranged marriages say "yes."
"Romance is built on the solid foundation of marriage. You fall in love with your spouse," says Makarand Dahane, married to Maithili for three years.
"There is a variety of emotions and you are practically forced to fall in love, since you are living together, There is a lot of scope for romance after marriage," Makarand adds.
He believes that the scope for courtship increases as love blossoms after spending time with the spouse - complete with candle-lit dinners and unending conversations.
Effort and patience
Priyam and Pranjali have been married for 10 years. Their friends think they epitomise the made-for-each-other cliche and look so much in love. It's hard for anyone to believe that the couple hardly knew each other before marriage. It was an arranged match.
Priyam remarks that in an arranged marriage, you put in more effort, patience and interest. The relationship cannot be independent of other relations in the house like those with parents and siblings.
"My love for Pranjali grew when I realised the efforts she was putting in for the people who mattered to me," says Priyam.
While the general notion is that youngsters prefer a love to an arranged marriage, the large martrimony sections of newspapers and rising popularity of matrimonial sites, suggest another story.
The procedure has also changed over the years. "Arranged marriages are no longer fixed by seeing photographs. The process now actually involves the girl and the boy playing a very vital role," says Neha who has registered on a matrimonial site.
Arranged marriages solve issues like caste and eating habits and it comes with references.. many believe to be ‘safe'.
Nilesh and Beena, who have married for the three years, vouch for romance after marriage.
"We live in a joint family. So we plan our days ahead to spend time with each other," Nilesh says.
"Our love for each other grew with time," adds Beena.
In fact, in the case of love marriage, the novelty of the relationship wears off very quickly, says Nilesh. In the case of an arranged marriage, it is like growing up together.
Even sitting in a room over a cup of coffee is a different experience. Makarand says there is no standard rule. It depends on the individuals and their perspective towards this new relationship.
"But I firmly believe, if you want to find love in an arranged marriage, there is abundant chance to do so," he ends cheerily.